When your pregnancy test reveals that first positive result, you may have stars in your eyes. But as time goes on, those stars can quickly change to dollar signs when you realize how much baby gear you are going to need and much it's going to cost. Luckily, lots of consignment options are out there to help you find gently used—and some never-used with tags still attached—baby gear and clothes.
Baby consignment shows: Hitting the jackpot
One of the hottest trends on the mommy market these days is that huge consignment shows are popping up all over the United States. Remember those wedding trunk shows you went to as a blushing bride-to-be? It's like that, but even more fun! The shows offer budget-conscious parents the chance to make money and score awesome deals on gently used kids and baby gear, sometimes up to 90 percent off retail. Don't dismiss these as just glorified garage sales. Consignment shows offer high-quality, clean, name-brand and boutique items—from baby and kids' clothes to maternity clothing and toys to big gear. And they provide an enjoyable shopping experience by hosting the shows in warehouses and large venues that are well-organized and run by friendly and knowledgeable staff. The checkout process is often computerized, making you feel more like you are shopping in the city's best-kept secret rather than the highly publicized consignment event that it is. All items are pre-screened for quality and safety, so you know you can shop easily without having to sift through a lot of undesirable items to find that one needle in the haystack.
How consignment shows can help put money in your pocket
Not only can you shop till you drop at these events, but you can also drop off your kids' unwanted or outgrown items and walk away with money in your pocket. In many cases, you set the prices on your items with the help of a handy pricing guide. After they are checked and approved by the staff, they go right on the rack. When the event is finished, you receive a check for what sells and get to keep or donate what doesn't. Companies that run consignment shows, like Rhea Lana's, Kids Consignment Show, Just Between Friends and many others, work hard to maximize profits for consignors and achieve deep discounts for buyers, making it a win-win situation. If you don't have any items to sell or you want to increase your savings even more, you can volunteer to work a shift or two for special incentives or bonuses, such as increased percentages on personal sales or a presale shopping pass to get a jump on the other mommies.
How do the shows different from secondhand stores or regular consignment shops?
One of the major differences between a baby consignment show event, and say, your local Goodwill store is the quality of items. While you can find some genuinely nice items at a secondhand store, more often than not the items have seen better days, and you might have to search through racks and racks of clothing to find one item you want. A consignment show does not accept items that are broken, have missing pieces, or clothing with rips or stains. You are likely to find name-brand items and have far more high-quality items to choose from than are available at secondhand stores.
The advantage of consigning with a show vs. a freestanding shop is the large number of customers that come through the doors. Even though most shows last only a few days, many moms find they sell more items—and faster—than they do at their local consignment shop simply because the event draws such enthusiastic crowds. Unfortunately, one downfall of the consignment show is that it may only come to your area once a year—if you are lucky. Although it is certainly a growing industry, the biggest shows are concentrated in more populated areas, so that means you may have to drive a long distance to attend a show. But the benefit of scoring some deep-discount baby deals may just be worth the trip!